Marvin Gaye: A Sketch and Recollection

(excerpt from my essay, “And Only One Was a Full Grown Man”)

At 6 o’clock in 1973, Black Larry’s voice, tainted by an opiate drawl, cut through a quiet summer morning: “Floyd! Floyyyyyd! Floyd!” Larry was standing in the driveway between my house and Floyd’s, right underneath my bedroom window. Bobby’s whining holler woke me up.

“Floyd! Floyyyd! Wake up man. Play some of that Marvin Gaye. Play that Marvin Gaye, man.” Floyd had a loud stereo that he build himself. He was the genius of the block.